Letter: Please Vote Yes on Question One

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I am a Reading resident for over 30 years and a nurse in full-time practice for 39 years. My husband and I are so proud that our daughter and son have both chosen nursing careers. I am voting YES on Question One and I want to tell you why you should too. I have not been a bedside nurse for years but my children are and over 18% of new nurses leave the profession within the first year of work. This is not your “mothers” profession, as I tell my kids, the demands and medical complexity of today’s “floor” patients are close to what I experienced years ago as both an ICU and Bone Marrow Transplant nurse at the Brigham.

However today, the profit margin at both “non-profit” and for-profit hospitals, which compose a large number of Massachusetts hospitals, by the way, seem to rule the day. This ballot question was written only after repeated attempts failed to work with hospitals and the legislation to ensure safe patient limits.

Do you like flying in those little seats that the airline puts you in? OK with your yogurt container getting smaller? How you are with your kid’s teachers taking on more kids than they say they can effectively teach? If you say yes then you should be OK with having your loved one wait for their call bell to be answered because their nurse has too many patients to safely care for. You are OK with corporate profit over the quality of the education of your kids, your loved one’s nursing care and your cramped legs. No, I am not being overly dramatic. 70 % of bedside nurses support this ballot question, that is why the MNA took it on. 70% of bedside nurse make up the membership of the MNA.

Take a step back, in September the polls showed that 65% of voters supported safe patient limits….because it made common sense. Then big pocket of money from the Hospital Industry, a 28 billion industry, came in and using the same scary tactics seen else where, claiming loss of jobs, collapse of health care, and society as we know it took over. Here are the facts, 44 out of 64 hospitals in MA posted a surplus in 2017. In 2017 profits included Massachusetts Eye and Ear ( 1.4 million), Partners Community Physicians Organizations (7.5 million), Physicians Organization at Children’s Hospital (66 million) , Massachusetts General Hospital Physicians Organization ( 35.7 million), Trinity Health Care ( 1.3 billion) Partners Health Care System (659.1 million) and my beloved Brigham and Women’s Physician Group (28.8 million).

Will this mandate question cost money, honestly yes. So will putting more teachers in the classroom or enlarging your leg room. Will it close hospitals or services? Only if hospital executives choose to. They make choices where to invest their vast resources. I am hoping you will vote to choose to invest it in the workforce and god forbid, in the care of your loved one when they need it the most. Please VOTE YES on QUESTION ONE.

Nancy Docktor
Reading MA

Dana Powers
Ian Powers
Graduates of RMHS 2010 and 2012

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